NWA | Branch Blog

Neil Family

Meet Adam and Calie Neil and their sweet daughters, Jada & Brooklyn. I had the opportunity to create their beautiful portraits just before Christmas. It's so important to have beautiful professional portraits created occasionally to show the growth and changes in life, this can be every year to every 5-6 years depending on the ages of the children. These portraits are important to the parents and family now, it is a centerpiece of the living room where guests, friends and family can view and be a conversation piece. What most people don't think about is how these prints will be MORE important in decades down the road. To look back, enjoy and reminisce of days of youth what times were like and the times enjoyed. Later in years the children will want the photos to display in their own homes, to show their kids, friends and family as a conversation piece… and the cycle continues with images that grow more valuable.

I have the honor to work with Calie on many occasions, creating images for great people at Legacy Bank, she and the bank are always a pleasure to work with. During the session I recognized Adam, he looked familiar, we got to talking and found out he used to work at Bedford Camera for several years until he went to JB Hunt 15 years ago. Back before switching to digital full time about 18 years ago, I carried film to Bedfords for processing on a regular basis and got to know many of them including Adam. He shared an inspiring story of how a relationship he made with a Bedford client directed him to JB Hunt and he has greatly progressed since that time, a truly inspiring truth in every business.

The session was fun and exciting, even though it was Brooklyn's (the youngest) first time to be photographed in a studio setting, she did great, all the while giving us fun expressions, showing her personality (giving us all a good laugh). After we completed the session, Jada even came up and gave me a hug, that made my day.

The stories I get to hear from clients during sessions are so great. To get to know what they do, where they've been, about their family and show their pride & love in their children, this is another reason I love what I do.

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Missouri Session

Location sessions are always exciting for me. While I do research on the property and location as much as I can, it's never exactly the same as being there. This challenges me, technically and artistically, and I love that challenge that pushes me to focus on the final image and the many possibilities.

I had a recent opportunity to create images on location at a private ranch in Missouri. I wasn't able to do much research since it was an open ranch, only able to see on the private web site I was provided. Arriving early, I was able to meet the parents and chat about options and areas they liked. It was an honor to hear of the history of the ranch and of their hunting trips as a family to Africa. This 2000 acre ranch was very nice with rolling hills, open grazing and wooded areas for the deer that were plenty (I saw about 15 does and 4-5 large buck while in the time we were driving around).

We were able to capture a wide variety of incredible images in various spots until the sun went down. The images below are from the first location we went to that was close to the lodge. The other locations were equally as awesome.

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Wedding Family

I didn't have the opportunity to know my grand parents well. My grandfather on my dad's side passed away when my father was 12 and his mom when i was 6 months old, so i never met either of them. My grandparents on my mother's side passed away when I was a teenager. I don't know what I missed out on until I see a family together with several generations, then I see the tremendous amount of love, how grandparents love and love to spoil their grandchildren and how the parents are basically 'out of the picture' when the grandparents are around Happy.

So when I see a family come together that includes the grandparents I'm thankful they are taking this time and opportunity to create a beautiful image to be on their wall for generations. I have just a few small snapshots of my grandparents, but to a portrait on the wall to tell friends and guests about. The wall portrait goes further, it makes a stronger connection, not only for the family but for the friends and guests. Imagine standing in front of the family portrait on the wall and telling your guests about your grandparents, what they do now, what they did for a living and about their life… suddenly your guests feel more connected to you and have a deeper appreciation for your family connection.

This summer I had the opportunity to photograph the wonderful Wedding family. I had the chance to create their daughter's senior portraits a few years back and got to know her. We not only photographed the family but individually, siblings and then parents. This provided them great grouping opportunities.

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A few months later, they called me back to come to their home, their parents were in town for the weekend. There we created portraits that each set of grandparents would like as well as the parents. What joy this portrait will bring their family over the many years to come and passed down to great and great-great grandchildren sharing the story behind the portrait of each person.


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There is NO other item you can invest in, that will increase in value as much as a family portrait, it gains value every year, regardless of the economy… the value is in the heart!

Haws Family

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What an honor to see families grow and photograph the changes. I am aways excited to see families return and see their children growing up, see seniors come back after years in college, having their headshot created for a carrier we talked about during their session, has not become a reality. When Angie Haws called for a family portrait, I was excited and also so for Karli's senior portraits (see blog post below). We had a great time and they are one of the nicest families I've ever met. The top photo above is from September this year and the one below was from 2011. I wish there was a way to put a freeze on time, but that wouldn't be fair to the young ones who have such a great life ahead, full of hopes, dreams and ambitions.

In Angie's words: "We have been going to Keith for many years. We’ve NEVER been disappointed! Our family pics are always fantastic and we receive many compliments but he really outdid himself on my daughter's recent senior portraits! BREATHTAKING!!!!"